Bad Money?

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139867

It’s now seven years since the festering sore on the skin of Scottish Football became fully septic, causing the liquidation of Rangers Football Club. Many of us at that time felt that the environment which had enabled the systematic, industrial scale cheating by that club, having now been exposed as unfit to fulfil its purpose, would be dismantled and replaced by something more accountable, more transparent, more honest.

Many more of us thought that other clubs who were the victims of the cheating that had gone on would be seeking a clear-out and a rewrite of the rule book, if for no other purpose than to ensure that a repeat was not possible.

We were all mistaken.

Let’s be honest about this. Football, whether it is played in Scotland or Argentina, at the Maracana Stadium or at Fleshers Haugh, is a rules-based endeavour. The rules of the game – both on the field and in its administration – are there to ensure as level a playing field as possible, to ensure that the constraints put on one club are the same for the rest.

Referees are in place to ensure the rules are complied with on the pitch, albeit with varying degrees of success. No matter what you might think of the guys in black, their craft is carried out in full public gaze, and consequently they are accountable to public opinion.

Off the field though, things are rather more opaque. Without the revelations of Charlotte Fakes for instance, we would never have known that a club had applied for a licence with false information, to a committee partly comprised of two folk who were employees of that club, and by extension part of the deception. Nor would we have known that the Chief Executive of the SFA had written to the club in question looking for approval on how the controversy surrounding the issue of the licence could be managed in the media.

The detail of the crimes of the people in charge of our game are the domain of those who have relentlessly pursued the truth of these matters. The devil is always in the detail, and the real devil is concealed in the fact that many of us are forced to switch off when confronted by the daunting prospect of having to follow that multi-threaded narrative.

In that regard, we owe much to the likes of Auldheid and EasyJambo (and many others) who unravel those threads for us and present the facts in a way most of us can follow. By doing so, they have allowed us to keep our eye on the ball.

Despairingly though, the upshot is that no matter what the facts tell us, Scottish football, at boardroom level, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, has no interest in seeking justice, or more importantly, clearing house.

The sins of the past will be the sins of the future, because the authorities have learned no lessons in the wake of Rangers’ liquidation, and in fact have now enshrined Doublespeak as the official language of the game.
No sporting advantage is a curious phrase used to describe sporting advantage
Imperfectly registered in lieu of not registered
Same for Different

I could go on, but the sins of one club, whilst fundamentally undermining the integrity of the sport in this country, are not the real problem. The authorities who set out to distort, bend, break, and tear up the rule-book are.

So too are the clubs who have refused to back their fans’ demand for proper oversight of the game, who have stood back and said nothing (except: “nothing to do with us guv!”) whilst their Patsies at Hampden do their dirty work, refusing to engage with or explain themselves to fans. These are the real culprits, they who have betrayed the trust of their own supporters. And if we are looking for a reason, look no further than their bank balances.

The recent scandal where the SPFL shared the outcome of its Unacceptable Behaviour report with the Scottish Government on the basis that it would not be made public shines a harsh spotlight on this.

The football authorities currently receive public funds from government, but in a “have your cake and eat it” scenario, they are accountable to no-one but themselves – and that’s how they want to keep it.

Publication of the SPFL report would put them at risk of having the accountability that they fear thrust on them. No-one in football wants the sectarian blight on our game to be cast under the glare of public focus. Especially if it becomes apparent that the game itself is the medium in which sectarianism thrives best.

And they know that it does exactly that. The trouble is that the societal divisions caused by sectarianism is a money maker. The old adage sectarianism sells has never been truer. The divide and rule model of empire applied to football. It is good box office.

But making football accountable could force measures to be put in place to cut out sectarian behaviour – and the clubs do not want that. It’s not the fear of being held responsible for their own fans’ behaviour under Strict Liability that worries the CFOs of our clubs – it’s the fear of losing the hatred which sees the money – bad money if you will – roll in.

Why did the cover up take place? Because losing Rangers was just not acceptable to football. Removing one of the vital protagonists in a money making cartel that thrives on hatred was a greater fear than any altruistic notion of sporting integrity (also now Doublespeak for “lack of integrity”).

Who could have foreseen that amidst the chaos surrounding Rangers demise, that they were only a symptom of the greed and couldn’t care less attitude of the money-men in football, and that our eyes would eventually be opened to the possibility that the football industry in Scotland is itself the enemy of public harmony?

Ironic perhaps, that the beautiful game, born out of the sense of community felt by the founding fathers of all our clubs, would emerge as a major malign influence in those communities.

There is no doubt that football is not prepared to cede any of its sovereignty to its customer base. They will go on – as long as we continue to bankroll them – in exactly the same way, like their bedfellows in the media a self-regulating industry with little or no regard for the public.

I am a supporter of Strict Liability, and we have already had discussions on the pros and cons of such an intervention. It is also clear that there is no SFM consensus on that. I want to leave that aside for the moment, because we do have a consensus surrounding our desire to see greater accountability in the game, and it is clear that fans’ voices, however temperately and eloquently articulated, are falling on deaf ears at Hampden.

The women’s game at the World Cup has recently provided us a window into the past, of the origins of the sport in Scotland. That which is a celebration of each others endeavour, skill, excellence and culture. The spirit of our game nowadays is a million miles away from that, because the market has taken over. 

Taming the wild excesses of the market is the responsibility of government. It’s about time the Scottish Government did just that. It is certainly clear that the SFA or the SPFL have zero interest in reining themselves in.

We have suggestions if anyone is listening.

738 COMMENTS


  1. 'wottpi 30th July 2019 at 14:42

     

    So is Celtic not being represented the fault of the SPFL or did Celtic not think the promotion of the domestic competition worthy of sending someone along to kit up? Was an injured or younger player from the reserves not available?'

    ##################################

    The media event yesterday was a 'Captains' Call' for the Ladbrokes & the SPFL. That is, an occasion to get the 12 club captains together, in their 2019/20 season strips, with the Premiership trophy to promote the coming season.

    Working around the congestion caused by fixtures in the BetFred Cup, CL Qualifying & EL Qualifying to find a suitable date for the sponsors appears to have been beyond the SPFL & Ladbrokes, yet match-days for these competitions are set well in advance. 

    I suppose that, if the SPFL is asked why the event went ahead without the champions represented, they'll blame the co-efficient for CFC's absence!


  2. Jingso.Jimsie 30th July 2019 at 15:47

    As discussed earlier these type of PR events have to be timed close to the event themselves to make them worthwhile.

    How long before the start of the league season do you expect the 'Captains Call' to occur?

    Saturday 20th July Hibs, Hamilton, St Mirren had games

    Sunday 21st  St Johnstone and Ross County had a game v each other

    Monday 22nd No games but teams will be training/ prepping , see Tuesday

    Tuesday 23rd  Hibs, Motherwell, Livingston & St Mirren had games

    Wednesday 24th Hearts, Ross County and St Johnstone had games. Celtic were in CL action

    Thursday 25th No League cup games but Aberdeen and T'Rangers in EL action

    Friday 26th Hibs league cup game

    Sat 27th Hearts, St Johnstone, Motherwell, Hamilton , Livingston had games

    Sun 28th No games involving top clubs

    Monday 29th No games involving top clubs but Celtic trained at Celtic park in the morning before flying our to Estonia in the afternoon.

    Tuesday & Wednesdays no games involving top teams but Celtic already away and Aberdeen and T'Rangers prepping.

    Very hard to work around such a tight schedule and get all 12 Captains together.

    IMHO, The PR angle would have been to totally drop the Captains Call theme or for SPFL/Celtic to make light of Brown being unavailable due to CL duty but put up a reserve or academy captain to represent the club.

    Why not even put up a full kit wanker fan for a laugh.

    A humorous angle would certainly get more media attention that the official launch whether Brown was present or not.

    As intimated I'd much rather see Berra playing CL football in maroon than complain about missing a poxy SPFL photo-shoot.

     

     


  3. wottpi 30th July 2019 at 14:42

    So is Celtic not being represented the fault of the SPFL or did Celtic not think the promotion of the domestic competition worthy of sending someone along to kit up? Was an injured or younger player from the reserves not available?

    =====================

    How do you know the SPFL were willing to have someone else? You point out the logistics of getting everyone together. We will never know what efforts were made but given it turned out mostly to be yet another huge free PR exercise for Rangers, I think it is safe to say it was not going to be on any date their Captain was unavailable. Where I will agree with you it is better to have success on the pitch, rather than bragging about what you are going to do on the pitch which a certain Mr Tavernier did yet again at the event. 


  4. 'wottpi 30th July 2019 at 17:38

     

    Jingso.Jimsie 30th July 2019 at 15:47

    As discussed earlier these type of PR events have to be timed close to the event themselves to make them worthwhile.

    How long before the start of the league season do you expect the 'Captains Call' to occur?'

    ###############################

    Frankly, it doesn't matter when it occurs if all twelve captains are available. It's supposed to be an inclusive event (all 12 teams) & it wasn't.

    It's common practice for press releases to be embargoed to a specific time & date. The content we saw in the media last night & today could have been generated almost any time since the Cup Final in May.

    Still, it's a nice wee day out for the journos & smudgers, sausage rolls & soup at Hampden included.


  5. I have seen something purporting to be an extract from a court order instructing that Rangers are to pay SDIR's costs and that it will be subject to a detailed assessment if not agreed.

    It goes on to say that Rangers should pay £444,846.60 on account to SDIR by 4pm on 16th August 2019.

     

    Has anyone else seen this, can they comment on it's accuracy.

     


  6. upthehoops 30th July 2019 at 19:26

    How do you know the SPFL were willing to have someone else?

    The point is you automatically assumed it was the SPFLs fault when there is equally no evidence available that it wasn't Celtic who didn't play ball.

    Jingso.Jimsie 30th July 2019 at 19:43

    The content we saw in the media last night & today could have been generated almost any time since the Cup Final in May.

    Oh yes that right,  the captains of each team were all known and definite at that time and of course all new season kits were ready after the cup final. 

    Once again another assumption made with no evidence. If the images were released yesterday then it is a fair bet they were taken Monday. If fact that appears to be the case. As discussed this would be the day that all Captains would be free from footballing commitments other than Brown.

    However Celtic trained at Celtic on Monday morning before flying out to Estonia and Brown was there.  https://thecelticstar.com/tuned-into-the-radio-listening-to-nomme-kalju-v-celtic/

    If the photo-shoot was in the morning then given the home lead Broonie could have skipped training and nipped over to Hampden for his mug shots with no harm done.

    Maybe it was all too tight and Celtic felt it was to much of an effort. So be it, but as I repeat no conspiracy just a consequence of events and a tight schedule.


  7. For no further purpose than deliberately fanning flames. How many times in the last say 20 years has the preseason photo shoot been outside Glasgow?


  8. wottpi 30th July 2019 at 21:02

    The point is you automatically assumed it was the SPFLs fault when there is equally no evidence available that it wasn't Celtic who didn't play ball.

    ============================

    I spoke to someone from the SPFL today who would know. He told me Celtic could not send their Captain as the team were playing away in Europe. He would not discuss whether any other dates were possible or had been considered. So now I AM assuming that it suited them fine to go ahead without Celtic, and it subsequently became a huge free PR event for Rangers, where a Captain who has won the square root of nothing was given an unchallenged platform to state how great Rangers will be this season. Job done for someone, that's for sure!


  9. Homunculus 30th July 2019 at 20:06

    I have seen something purporting to be an extract from a court order instructing that Rangers are to pay SDIR's costs and that it will be subject to a detailed assessment if not agreed.

    It goes on to say that Rangers should pay £444,846.60 on account to SDIR by 4pm on 16th August 2019.

    Has anyone else seen this, can they comment on it's accuracy.

    ===================================

    It was posted by "Sons of Struth" (Craig Houston) on facebook.  Looks genuine enough.

    https://www.facebook.com/pg/SonsOfStruth/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1468853570012433&ref=page_internal


  10. How about this for a piece of bloody nonsense:

    "Lausanne, 30 July 2019 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between the Turkish football club Trabzonspor Kulübü Dernegi (Trabzonspor), the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), the Turkish football club Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü (Fenerbahçe) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).  
     

    Fenerbahçe won the 2010/2011 season of the Turkish Süper Lig while Trabzonspor was the runner-up. Widespread manipulation of matches in the 2010/2011 Turkish Süper Lig was subsequently exposed and officials from several clubs, including the President and other senior officials of , were implicated in criminal activity linked to match-fixing.

    In May 2012, the TFF Disciplinary Committee issued a decision sanctioning three senior officials of Fenerbahçe for having attempted match-fixing during the 2010/2011 Turkish Süper Lig season. The TFF did not sanction the club itself because the activities were held to be attributable to the individuals and not to the club. ."

    [ Trabzonspor have been asking FIFA to strip Fenerbahçe of that league title  for 2010/2011, and award it to Trabzonspor. The matter ultimately went to CAS who years later have now arrived at judgment:

    ".In conclusion, the Panel found that Trabzonspor’s appeal against the letter of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (FIFA DC) of 17 April 2018 and the letter of the FIFA Appeal Committee (FIFA AC) dated 27 April 2018 must be dismissed." ]

    full 'judgment at  https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CAS_Media_Release_5746.pdf 

    There is something vaguely familiar in the Turkish FA's reasoning: Do I hear echoes of the  "it wasn't the club that cheated, it was the company" argument, and perhaps   a hint of the kind of 'reasoning' adopted by the SFA in the matter of 'ineligibility/"

    Honest to God! 

    Lunatics running the asylum isn't in it!

     


  11. Re Scott Brown in this day and age could they not have used photoshop just for the sake of having a picture with all captains? Jesus! i could have done it in 5 min for them. They could even have put out a light hearted statementie. For the case of a complete captain line up we photoshopped Scott Brown in with celtic’s consent as the celtic captain was unavailable because of european commitments


  12. Homunculus 30th July 2019 at 20:06

    '..Rangers should pay £444,846.60 on account..'

    +++++++++++++

    I like the '60 pence' bit.

    Does anyone know  what fraction  is usually requested 'on account' pending calculation of the full amount due?


  13. Cluster One 30th July 2019 at 21:59

    Nice one and far better than moaning about the whole affair. angry


  14. John Clark 30th July 2019 at 22:06

    —————-

    I took it that £444,846.60 was the sum total of SDIR's costs. What I'm not clear on is how SDIR recoup the lost monies from the Elite / Hummel deal over last season and this. That money has gone to Elite / Hummel so will they have to sue them to recover it, and thereby trigger the indemnity given to Elite at least by TRFC, requiring Elite to then recover the funds from TRFC?

    Also, TRFC seem to have come out of this unscathed, apart from the costs, surely they should be facing some punitive damages for having knowingly breached the original agreement.


  15. macfurgly 30th July 2019 at 23:07

    Also, TRFC seem to have come out of this unscathed, apart from the costs, surely they should be facing some punitive damages for having knowingly breached the original agreement

    ===========================

    The club is facing damages for SDI's loss of earnings for seasons 2018/19 and 2019/20. 


  16. macfurgly 30th July 2019 at 23:07

     

     

    John Clark 30th July 2019 at 22:06

    —————-

    I took it that £444,846.60 was the sum total of SDIR's costs. What I'm not clear on is how SDIR recoup the lost monies from the Elite / Hummel deal over last season and this. That money has gone to Elite / Hummel so will they have to sue them to recover it, and thereby trigger the indemnity given to Elite at least by TRFC, requiring Elite to then recover the funds from TRFC?

    Also, TRFC seem to have come out of this unscathed, apart from the costs, surely they should be facing some punitive damages for having knowingly breached the original agreement.

    _____________________

    By my understanding, the case was between SDI and TRFC only. SDI won their case in its entirety and so TRFC must make good and put SDI in the position it would have been had TRFC stuck to the contract they'd made with SDI, or come to some other agreement with them. If no agreement is reached, the court will issue an injunction against the club for the full amount. No other companies were included in SDI's claim and no ruling has been made against Elite or Hummel.

    The judge has stated that the settlement is not affected by the £1m limit on damages as damages are separate from putting SDI into the position they would have been if TRFC had not broken their contract, so I suspect it is possible that over and above the income SDI would have made and must now be paid by the club, they are due up to £1m in damages.

    If TRFC feel (and, no doubt, King will consider pursuing this in the belief he and his club are ever the wronged party) that Elite and Hummel share the blame then it will be up to TRFC to take them to court and prove it, claiming they were partly to blame (good luck on that one, ha).

    This invoice that has come to light (and I wonder how they got hold of that? Leaked by one of the board to raise the bears' anger level, perhaps, or to prepare them for the much bigger hit coming down the road?) only shows us how much it has cost SDI in legal costs and that, whatever arrangement might be reached between the two parties, the club has to stump up over £440,000 plus their own legal costs which will probably bring the figure to in excess of £600,000. 

    TRFC have, of course, illegally/improperly entered into contracts with Elite and Hummel who may well decide to take the club to court to recoup any loss of earnings due to their now worthless contracts. They are, I believe, covered by indemnities to this effect.

    In short, the SDI legal bill is just the beginning of an ever growing total cost to TRFC of a very stupid move, and clearly the legal teams, of both sides, are not hanging about waiting for the dust to settle before they get their dues.


  17. Yet another one of my wee thoughts, this time on that perplexing question of – why on earth did King/TRFC get themselves into this very expensive mess?

    I think it's quite simple. They thought that the maximum it would cost them to break the contract with SDI was the £1m limit to any damages claim and considered that its inclusion was SDI/Ashley actually saying, 'to end this new contract you must bump up another £1m'.

    So, assuming they envisaged making something like £5m pa from merchandising, the first year's profit would have been marked down to £4m and the problem was over. They might even have been able to include the £1m in the accounts as start up costs or some such, to avoid letting the bears know the true quantum of freeing themselves from Big Mike.

    They possibly even had the million set aside ready for when SDI came calling and would have passed it on with the minimum of fuss, and no publicity, with only administrative level legal costs.

    It probably got King very excited to think he'd got one over on Ashley (at a cost of £1m), until…


  18. Nice podcast BP. 

    If only football entities listened to David Lows mantra – be the best we can be within our means. 


  19. Allyjambo 31st July 2019 at 07:22

    " ..In short, the SDI legal bill is just the beginning of an ever growing total cost to TRFC of a very stupid move, and clearly the legal teams, of both sides, are not hanging about waiting for the dust to settle before they get their dues."

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Ha, ha, Aj!broken heart

    If my by now fairly extensive experience of watching litigation in action is anything to go by, the uppermost question and almost the first matter discussed in Court by Counsel is the matter of their fees. So much so that 'caution' is sought if there is the slightest doubt in any QC's mind that  the other party won't be able to stump up if they lose!

    Absolutely no flies on those guys.


  20. Allyjambo 31st July 2019 at 07:54

    '..I think it's quite simple. They thought that the maximum it would cost them to break the contract with SDI was the £1m limit to any damages claim..'

    +++++++++++++++++

    Is  J D Blair any kind of lawyer? No wonder he stooped to misleading the Court.

    I would think his usefulness to Mr King has probably come to an end.

    I mean, it's bad enough for King as a 'businessman' to have been described as  a GASL, without his present company secretary being slated by a High Court judge for being untruthful.


  21. John Clark 31st July 2019 at 08:38 Allyjambo 31st July 2019 at 07:54 '..I think it's quite simple. They thought that the maximum it would cost them to break the contract with SDI was the £1m limit to any damages claim..' +++++++++++++++++ Is J D Blair any kind of lawyer? No wonder he stooped to misleading the Court. I would think his usefulness to Mr King has probably come to an end. I mean, it's bad enough for King as a 'businessman' to have been described as a GASL, without his present company secretary being slated by a High Court judge for being untruthful.

    _________________

    Like all lawyers, John, Bair's expertise will be limited to one or two areas, but his pompousness and self belief will be off the scale. This will be enhanced by his Rangersness and encouraged by a club chairman who not only wants to hear what he wants to hear but is also full of the same over-developed pompous self-belief. I suspect, also, that the fresh contract was drawn up by the SDI lawyers and in TRFC's delight at what they saw as a 'cheap' way out led to a quick decision, and they signed an agreement they hadn't read often and thoroughly enough, and got on with searching for a new merchandising partner. And Ashley, while, I'm sure, taking his legal team's advice to the full, just let them get on with it. This time, their tanks parked in the Albion Car Park were all but invisible.


  22. I hadn't seen that  Reach plc ( owners of one of Britain's biggest newspaper groups, publishing 240 regional papers in addition to the national Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, The Sunday People, Daily Express, ..) was on 19th July in a race to buy jpi media (i.e. Johnston Press,owners of 'the Scotsman). ( Don't know latest position)

    I read today a puff piece ,in todays' issue of the 'Scotsman' ,about David Murray's 'Murray Capital Group' and the prospective sale of an office block in Edinburgh. 

    The piece, of course, mentions that " Murray, one of Scotland's best-known entrepreneurs, sits as chairman of the group. He launched his first enterprise, Murray International Metals, in 1974 as  steel trading business. The venture grew to boast a turnover of £200 million a year before it was sold in 2005 for £115m.

    He famously also served as Chairman and owner of Glasgow Rangers Football Club for more than two decades"

    Not a word about the infamous , pathetic " I was duped" grovelling cheat's boastful folly that cheated Scottish Football and tried to cheat Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, and whose cheating in the end destroyed Glasgow Rangers Football Club for ever. 

    May Reach plc succeed in buying jpi media, and may Hannah Burley , who wrote ( or unquestioningly cut-and-pasted that puff piece), be one of the first employees to be dispensed with. 

    Honest to God! What are some of these 'journalists' like? Putty in the hands of chancers who make sure that their failed business ventures do not affect their own personal wealth, whatever damage they may do to others.

     


  23. I have listened to the latest Podcast with David Low and, not surprisingly, was interested in his assertion "I see Hearts getting sold, I really do, not to the fans, to another third party".

    I think David is wrong, or is unaware of the existing undertakings within the legally binding agreements between Ann Budge (Bidco 1874 Ltd), FOH and the Club. 

    I've obviously taken a close interest in the detail of these agreements and sought clarity by raising a number of queries with the Club and FOH in the past.  There are a number of protections in the various agreements and governance of FOH which would make such a sale highly unlikely, if not impossible.

    I will summarise these as follows:

    The funding agreement between Bidco, FOH and the Club has an undertaking that Bidco's shares cannot be sold without the agreement of FOH.

    FOH has already acquired three quarters of the original Bidco loan that secured the CVA in 2014. Repayment of the Bidco loan will be complete in six months time in January 2020, assuming that FOH pledges are maintained at current levels, with the transfer of the majority shareholding (75.1%) to FOH due to occur the following month. 

    Under the terms of the repayment agreement with Bidco, FOH has already acquired voting rights over 35% of the club's shares, so has an effective "blocking" capability against any special resolution put forward by the Club's majority shareholder.  

    FOH's own governance has put in place a "super majority"voting requirement in place for certain events, including the sale of shares in the club, the sale of Tynecastle, changing the team's name or colours. The super majority will require a 90% vote from FOH members, rather than the norm of 75% for a special resolution. In setting such a high threshold, I believe that it will make it highly unlikely that the FOH members would ever vote for such events, except in the most extreme circumstances.  


  24. EJ @ 10.50 31 July

     

    Re : Hearts

     

    Interesting post EJ re the FOH's position – I wish them/you all the best for the future of Hearts FC .

    What did you make of David's assertion re ownership of a football club ie. his preference to a single owner over fan ownership from the financial perspective of taking the club forward .

    Do you think FOH could ultimately borrow money to assist expansion of the club in the future i.e finance new players etc ?


  25. I listened with interest to the podcast with David Low, it's always interesting to get the views of someone close to the money side of Scottish football, and would like to raise one point he made as I am not quite sure, if I understood what he was saying, that he is correct.

    He seemed to be suggesting that TRFC are in a better situation than RFC were prior to their insolvency events because someone could buy TRFC for, say, £100m and all would be well. Well that is exactly the same as the situation was before Rangers went into administration, only the quantum required was different. It makes no difference whether or not there is a holding company involved, a buyer for the club would solve the club's problems, presuming, of course, it was not a Craig Whyte kind of billionaire who bought it!

    If RIFC/TRFC is/are heading for the rocks, only a buyer able to clear, or take on board, all debts of both companies, could save the club from it's fate, which was exactly the same scenario that we saw at Rangers.


  26. naegreetin 31st July 2019 at 11:51

    EJ @ 10.50 31 July

    Re : Hearts

    Interesting post EJ re the FOH's position – I wish them/you all the best for the future of Hearts FC .

    What did you make of David's assertion re ownership of a football club ie. his preference to a single owner over fan ownership from the financial perspective of taking the club forward .

    Do you think FOH could ultimately borrow money to assist expansion of the club in the future i.e finance new players etc ?

    =========================

    I perfectly understand his preference about having a single private owner who can probably raise more finance if required. I share that view to some extent. Once FOH takes majority ownership of  Hearts it intends to maintain an arms length relationship with the club and let the club board do the day to day operations without interference.

    If the club board wishes to raise funds by way of a loan they can do so.  FOH will have representatives on the club board to will be able to oversee and express their own views on such borrowing.  I think at least in the short to medium term, that it would be unlikely that FOH would want to issue new shares to an investor (thus diluting their own holding), although in the longer term they might allow themselves to drop to 51%, or even 25% should some rich investor seek to make a large investment in the club. I don't see them dropping below a "blocking" stake of 25% at any point in the foreseeable future.  

    FOH will continue to invest funds in the club which can either be used for day to day operations of for infrastructure spending. That money will come from ongoing pledges (currently running at £1.44m a year). I'd expect a bit of a fall off in pledges once ownership is transferred, but that there are many who are committed to "pledge for life".  


  27. naegreetin 31st July 2019 at 11:51

    Interesting post EJ re the FOH's position – I wish them/you all the best for the future of Hearts FC .

    What did you make of David's assertion re ownership of a football club ie. his preference to a single owner over fan ownership from the financial perspective of taking the club forward .

    Do you think FOH could ultimately borrow money to assist expansion of the club in the future i.e finance new players etc ?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That would be my question too. Whilst Hearts have been saved and fan ownership progresses, as time goes on there has to be a concern about the on field performance and lack of sucess for a club that size amongst the fans. Future sucess would need to be funded by the increased stadium capacity, better commercial deals, sponsorship, player development and sales etc. I would have thought getting into debt would be a difficult choice.

    My own Club Motherwell is a bit different because we probably don't have the expectations of the Hearts fans and as I see it we punch well above our weight most seasons anyway. We have made a decision to live within our means and make the best of what we have in our players and management. Its early doors but I'm happy with the way things are progressing.


  28. Interesting that David Low is in the same boat as everyone else re the fight with Ashley – by all accounts, DL is a sound businessman with good football insight/experience yet even he cannot see the logic of TRFC's approach. With that view widely held by everyone other than TRFC fans, I'm coming round to thinking that it can only be that DK and the TRFC board are simply continuing it so that they can continue to portray MA as the Bete Noir thereby deflecting the fans' anywhere other than toward them. 

    There appears to be no business reason not to make peace, so there must be another reason and despite what the TRFC fans are fed (and believe) about MA now simply being vindictive, DL is right when he says that no one – least of all an avaricious businessman like MA – wants to lose money. If peace meant he could earn more money, MA would be all over it. It has to be the TRFC board who are promoting the spat and I can only think it is to deflect the angry fans from them.

    That said, I can still agree with the argument that the Elite move was down to a need for immediate cash. Knowing that they could spin it to the Bears that it's all MA's fault deflects them from asking the board why they needed cash so urgently.


  29. On first reading I thought £444,846.60 was the total cost of litigation but since then  P.McG and JJames have stated this is not the whole bill on rereading the court statement it does seem that this is just an initial tranche . In his protected piece JJames indicates the full amount will be circa £4.5m which seems a ridiculously high figure and this is just for the legal costs and not the damages . It also states how the Directors of TRFC may be held in contempt of court if the bill isn't paid. The current Directors on the hook here are https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC425159/officers James Blair ,Andrew Dickson and Stewart Robertson . As you know Dave Cunningplan King isn't fit and proper enough to be involved . King has gone from personal liability for this whole nonsense to being bailed out by RIFC to the tune of 3m and handing Ashley the jerseys for eternity for a song , not only that he has now put the personal liability onto the shoulders of the 3 aforementioned individuals but fans can console themselves that he is a real Rangers* man and not Mike Ashley. I shouldn't remind them that he voted against a CVA in 2012 . There are 2 options ,pay up or scuttle the ship along with the debts and the SDI contract , start a new club* that is ushered into the SPL , buy 2 sets of history and blame that bad man Ashley . What a mess.


  30. @redlichtie 13.06

    I've noticed he has updated it to say the first tranche was 40% and the total legal bill will be 1.2m plus 600k for their own legal costs. If the damages are north of 10m as has been suggested then the unknown costs for Hummel and Elite are also added it looks rather bleak . Serious questions have to be asked of the authorities who allowed King anywhere near our game .


  31. Allyjambo 31st July 2019 at 07:22

    ……TRFC have, of course, illegally/improperly entered into contracts with Elite and Hummel who may well decide to take the club to court to recoup any loss of earnings due to their now worthless contracts. They are, I believe, covered by indemnities to this effect….

    AJ, as I understood it the indemnity enjoyed by Elite relates to any claim by a third party against them regarding the rights that TRFC claimed to be able to bestow on Elite. The ability of TRFC to so do was obviously something that SDI and then the court disagreed with, the court noting also that the parties (Elite/TRFC) had entered into this arrangement with their eyes open. That doubtless was why Elite sought and received such an indemnity. 

    It is unclear to me if Hummel have a similar indemnity from TRFC. It would not surprise me if that is the case and if so there could be further substantial costs down the road for TRFC if SDI take action against Elite/Hummel. 

    Separate from the indemnity/indemnities is the question of TRFC now being unable to fulfill their side of the agreements struck with Elite/Hummel. Will that lead to claims from those two parties against TRFC for loss of profits and any costs they may have incurred? Did Elite sink £500K into upgrading premises on the basis of the contract with TRFC?

    In section 7 (8) of the Order it instructs TRFC not to 'deliver (insofar as not already delivered) any of the items noted in points under 'Sponsorship' on pages 5 and 6 of the Elite/Hummel Agreement for the football seasons 2019/20 or 2020/21."

    Where does that place the Murray Park/Auchinhowie/Hummel Training Centre For Conveyor Belts/World Class Breakfasts?

    The Mike Ashley Club 2012 Centre might be a good replacement name…

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

     


  32. I see that the court document Phil posted includes a statement that…

    "16. Rangers application to appeal is dismissed."

    No one anywhere seems to have commented on that, but does that mean King has no option to kick the can down the road? I know he can still drag on the suggested discussion re damages a little.


  33. redlichtie 31st July 2019 at 13:42

    Just to clarify, I was not suggesting the indemnity was the only reason Elite and/or Hummel might raise an action against TRFC, just using it to strengthen their case.

    I suppose, though, that it will all depend on how these two companies view the prospect of:

    a) successfully winning damages;

    b) winning damages actually being worthwhile – there's often little point in suing for damages when the defender is going bust, leaving the litigant with a pointless legal bill;

    Or, conversely:

    c) not suing TRFC leaving Elite and/or Hummel looking like soft touches when it comes to delinquent customers.


  34. A wee trip down Memory Lane , courtesy of The Guardian Knowledge .

    “The tackle by Sevilla’s Joris Gnagnon on Liverpool’s Yasser Larouci got me thinking: what’s the longest ban a player has received for an offence in a pre-season game?” asks Trent Duvall.

    Andrew Newcombe has a suggestion: “Current Heart of Midlothian boss Craig Levein was banned for 10 matches during his time as a Hearts player following an altercation in a pre-season game at Raith Rovers. Following a disagreement over defensive duties, Levein punched and broke the nose of fellow Jambo Graeme Hogg, in retaliation to a head-butt. Hogg was also handed a 10-match ban and this was added to an existing three-match ban, so he was effectively suspended for 13 matches.”

    What is the hottest match ever played in England?

     

    Read more

    At the time of the rammy, Hearts were losing to Rovers, whose striker Gordon Dalziel remembers it well. “It was just before half-time,” he told the Daily Record’s 10th anniversary piece, “and I got in between Craig Levein and Graeme Hogg and got an effort in on goal at the Raith end of Stark’s Park. Henry Smith turned it round the post for a corner but an argument then broke out between Levein and Hogg about who was meant to be marking me. I was winding them up and laughing and saying that I was having a stormer and I was a difficult player to mark at the best of times. The last thing I said to the pair of them was: ‘I don’t want you falling out over me.’ I then told them to calm down.

    “But Hogg then squared up to Levein. I think he threw the first punch or a shove in Levein’s direction and then they had a set-to. Levein threw two haymakers which I can only describe as a superb effort that Mike Tyson would have been proud of. I was killing myself laughing and jokingly gave Hogg the count of 10 as he was flat out. I didn’t realise the severity of the blows or the fact that Levein had actually broken Hogg’s nose. It was a couple of dull ones that Levein hit him with and, to be fair to him, it was his own teammate. It was a stupid argument over nothing in a pre-season friendly. It was typical of me during my career. I was a cheeky-chappy-type striker and I started banter with defenders and many an argument. But when trouble started I just ran like fuck.”


  35. Oh , my sides !

    BREAKING NEWS
    Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has turned down a lucrative £30m move to Chinese Super League club Hebei Fortune.
    The three-year deal would have given the Colombian wages of £10m-a-year before tax.
    Sky Sports News understands Hebei were willing to match Rangers valuation of the striker, believed to be in excess of £15m, although no official bid was received.
    The Chinese window shuts at 5pm UK time today.


  36. paddy malarkey 31st July 2019 at 15:00 Oh , my sides ! BREAKING NEWS Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has turned down a lucrative £30m move to Chinese Super League club Hebei Fortune. The three-year deal would have given the Colombian wages of £10m-a-year before tax. Sky Sports News understands Hebei were willing to match Rangers valuation of the striker, believed to be in excess of £15m, although no official bid was received. The Chinese window shuts at 5pm UK time today.

    ___________________

    It's handy having Sky as your PR outlet. And what is it about the Chinese and Morelos? It's only ever them that get a look in with him. And they always leave it to the last minute, too.


  37. Re : £30m "bid" for Morelos from China

     

    I'll only believe it when Kheridine says he's seen the bid .


  38. Timtim@12.58

    You raise a good point re the exposure of the 3 TRFC directors. I wonder how long they are prepared to put up with this stress? It’s clearly too late for the latest court finding but who knows what else may be coming down the pike and positions must be being considered. 


  39. Hebei Fortune already have four foreigners, the maximum allowed, on their books. (Only three can play at one time.) One would have to leave before 1700hrs today.

    There's a 100% surcharge in effect on signing foreign players. A £15m player would cost the club an additional £15m in taxes, totalling £30m. A £7.5m player would attract a £7.5m premium, totalling £15m.

    I'm just popping out, now the thunder & lightning has stopped, to let a giant squirrel out of the Sports Direct XL Bag 4 Life it's been captive in.

     


  40. Shirley, it is decision time at Ibrox now?

     

    If you haven't got a hope in hell of being able to fund;

     

    – all of Ashely's legal costs

    – your own legal costs

    – unspecified, material damages

    – normal, operating costs

    – an external loan of £7M (?)

     

    …then why would you pay out £445K hard cash by August 16th, as per the Court Order?

    (Assuming this detail is indeed genuine).

     

    Time to fold now – or anytime up until August 15th?


  41. 'Ex Ludo 31st July 2019 at 16:37

     

    Timtim@12.58

    You raise a good point re the exposure of the 3 TRFC directors. I wonder how long they are prepared to put up with this stress? It’s clearly too late for the latest court finding but who knows what else may be coming down the pike and positions must be being considered.' 

    #############################

    They'll have had personal assurances from the Group Chairman. Surely that'll be good enough, particularly with his impeccable reputation? 

     


  42. Is my understanding of the situation wrt SDIR V TRFC in that what is to be paid by August 16 is base court costs , and that the parties have been sent away to try and find a way of redressing SDIR's losses due to TRFC's breaches of contract or , failing that , have them imposed by the judge at a later hearing ? 


  43. With a court declaring that a member club's Company Secretary – a legal professional – as being "untruthful"…

     

    With the same member club being dragged through the court's for dishonouring contracts for kits, for memorial walls, etc…

     

    With the same member club creating confusion about what kit they can wear in future games – and which supplier is allowed to manufacture the kit, etc…

     

    Will the SFA consider this mushrooming accumulation of bad publicity and dodgy business dealings to be "bringing the game into disrepute"?

    [Another rhetorical question.]

     

     


  44. Think that's only a portion of SDI's total costs, PM, but yes they are supposed to discuss acceptable damages soon or the court will make a judgement. Of course, TRFC are still claiming that the £1m cap to damages applies. The judge and SDI are saying it may be allowed to stand, but even if it does the judge has already indicated that £1m isn't enough to cover the amounts SDI lost out on, so if TRFC and SDI can't agree, he will undoubtedly find a way to award SDI what he sees as acceptable. Whether that is by way of a cash payment or a future retail deal overwhelmingly tilted in favour of SDI remains to be seen. Basically, this either screws them immediately or slowly in my opinion. 


  45. Nawlite @ 14.05:

    Judge Persey refused The Rangers leave to appeal but they could still apply to the Court of Appeal itself.  Whether the Court of Appeal would overrule a High Court Judge is questionable, especially given the overwhelming nature of the judgement against the Ibrox club.


  46. I suppose the argument would be that by wearing the strip Rangers would be "assisting" Hummel / Elite in selling it. Therefore to do so would be to breach the Judges ruling.

    I wonder if SD's very expensive lawyers have thought of that.

     


  47. Timtim 31st July 2019 at 13:39
    17 0 Rate This

    @redlichtie 13.06

    I’ve noticed he has updated it to say the first tranche was 40% and the total legal bill will be 1.2m plus 600k for their own legal costs. If the damages are north of 10m as has been suggested then the unknown costs for Hummel and Elite are also added it looks rather bleak . Serious questions have to be asked of the authorities who allowed King anywhere near our game .
    ……………
    Any news from the SFA about all this?
    Can the club survive these costs
    What rules are in place for a club with no kit to wear next season.
    Are the SFA in contact with ibrox about what may come down the pipe line and how it will affect the ibrox club’s survival?


  48. Ps. had a listen to the pod cast and it crashed on me( my side) will hopefully catch the rest later.


  49. naegreetin 31st July 2019 at 16:31
    14 0 Rate This

    Re : £30m “bid” for Morelos from China

    I’ll only believe it when Kheridine says he’s seen the bid .
    …………………
    Would that be the verbal bid with his own eyes?


  50. CO they will have kit to wear next year, just not via Hummel. The judgement forces the retail deal back to SDI for season 2020-21, so they or TRFC will arrange a deal with another kit manufacturer. 


  51. I'm getting mixed signals re court ruling on matching rites, 

    Are TRFC able to play this season in this year's kit re Hummel/elite or do they have to play in a retro strip 2017/18?


  52. nawlite 31st July 2019 at 20:23
    …………
    Who would touch them?
    And if anyone did. Jesus! the contract would give the club even less than the alledged 10p they were getting when charles Green signed a contract.


  53. CO, if they haven't enough cash to pay SDI what the judge thinks they lost out on as well as their court costs, I think the only option open to him to ensure SDI make up their losses is to insist on the forced deal to be so heavily weighted in SDI's favour that TRFC will be lucky to get even that. To get that money from 2020-21 strip sales, SDI will probably use their manufacturing contacts to get strips made. The Bears then have the decision to buy or boycott again. What a laugh!


  54. easyJambo 31st July 2019 at 10:50
    FOH’s own governance has put in place a “super majority”voting requirement in place for certain events, including the sale of shares in the club, the sale of Tynecastle, changing the team’s name or colours. The super majority will require a 90% vote from FOH members, rather than the norm of 75% for a special resolution. In setting such a high threshold, I believe that it will make it highly unlikely that the FOH members would ever vote for such events, except in the most extreme circumstances.
    …………………
    That reminded me of something i read, i may have even posted it the other day.
    special resolution.
    I believe i read that after the recent share issue king can block any special resolutions put forward to the board.
    Who could scupper the ship and who can block any special resolutions to stop him. Or am i way off?


  55. easyJambo 30th July 2019 at 21:50
    It goes on to say that Rangers should pay £444,846.60 on account to SDIR by 4pm on 16th August 2019.
    …………..
    All these costs coming down the pipe line. Would some clubs who have had transfer dealings with the ibrox club be expecting the second tranche of any transfer fee to be paid to them before exmas to add to any costs coming down the pipe line.


  56. Martin C @20.25

    Judge Persey ruled that, in practical terms, it was too late to stop The Rangers wearing the Hummel kit this season.  He ruled that SDIR was due damages in respect of the 2018-19 & 2019-20 seasons with the contract reverting to SDIR from tbe 2020-21 season.  SDIR will be free to choose a manufacturer of its own choice, perhaps Puma.  


  57. So (apologies to Jacob Rees for my conjunction), can they wear ‘the’ tartan kilts or does Mike have the last rites to the woven wool? Asking for a neighbour. 

     


  58. Paddy Malarkey

    I think you are correct. Judge doesn't want to hand down judgement if parties can agree, although given the track record of the defendant, he probably knows he's just kicked the can down the road for a few weeks.


  59. Whoever released the squirrel about Morelos (and let's face it someone from within Rangers can't be ruled out) has had the desired effect due to the nature of the Scottish media. Morelos, who by Gerrard's own admission no club has bid for, is being discussed as a £15m player, despite no-one bidding for him!  

    Their PR works, but it wouldn't without a properly functioning media. 

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